cmhc546 | Graduate


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This course examines the history, biochemistry, main effects and side effects of prescription psychotropic medication. The goal of the course is to learn to work with clients who are taking psychotropic medication and monitor them for side effects and contraindications. Ethics and methods of working with medical personnel are included.

This graduate-level course is 6 This course is available to take individually or To enroll, speak with an Enrollment Representative.

Course details:

Credits: 3
Continuing education units: XX
Professional development units: XX
Duration: 6

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    Ethical and Clinical Issues in Psychopharmacology

    • Appraise the effectiveness of the combination of pharmacological and psychological treatments.
    • Describe the liability issues arising when practitioners choose or choose not to use pharmacology referral in treating mental distress.
    • Discuss considerations for making appropriate referrals for medication evaluations.
    • Compare and contrast the clinical issues associated with the use of psychopharmacology, including when to refer clients for treatment, how to work in collaborative relationships with prescribers, and ethical issues involved in informing clients about drug issues.

    Principles of Drug Action and Metabolism, Pharmacology of Depressive Disorders

    • Explain the main effects and common side effects associated with psychopharmacological medications.
    • Explain the nature and limitations of the monoamine hypotheses of depression.
    • Examine the pharmacological properties and clinical use of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs), and atypical antidepressants, including knowledge of the pharmacokinetics, doses, side effects, and interactions of commonly used agents.
    • Examine the basics of pharmacokinetics.
    • Examine the basics of pharmacodynamics.

    Biological Concepts of Mental Distress

    • Identify the major structures and functions of the brain that relate to mental disorders.
    • Identify the structure and function of the idealized neuron and neurotransmitters.

    Pharmacology of Anxiety Disorders, Bipolar Spectrum Disorders

    • Assess the pharmacological properties and mechanisms of action of the benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine classes of anti-anxiety and sedative-hypnotic agents.
    • Differentiate between anxiolytics and sedative-hypnotic agents.
    • Outline the pharmacology and clinical use of drugs used to treat bipolar spectrum disorder (including bipolar depression), incorporating pharmacokinetics, doses, side effects, and interactions of lithium, anticonvulsants, and antipsychotics.

    Pharmacology of Psychotic Disorders

    • Analyze the biological models of schizophrenia, including brain areas implicated in the disorder, the dopamine and other hypotheses of schizophrenia, and the possible role of structural brain abnormalities in the creation of psychotic disorders.
    • Analyze the pharmacological properties and clinical use of the typical and atypical antipsychotic agents, including knowledge of pharmacokinetics, doses, short-term and long-term side effects, with a focus on extrapyramidal side effects and tardive dyskinesia.

    Pharmacology of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

    • Examine the biological theories of ADHD, focusing on the posterior and anterior attention systems.
    • Analyze the pharmacological properties of stimulants and selective serotonin neuroepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs).
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